DES MOINES, Iowa, May 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Iowa, the undisputed leader in renewable fuels production and technology, has established itself as the breeding ground for the next generation of biofuels in America. According to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, the Hawkeye state has added $13 billion to the state's economy, generated $2.5 billion in new household income, and created and supported almost 50,000 Iowa jobs.
The Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) will have a major presence at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing conference in Toronto this week. The $3.5 billion in capital investment projects in the industrial biotechnology and renewable space over the past four years further position the state to lead the nation in the development and production of biorenewables.
In an April 2011 press conference U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that Iowa's booming renewable energy industry is a prototype for the nation's economic revitalization.
Iowa has all the necessary ingredients: natural resources, a savvy workforce, existing infrastructure, access to agricultural biomass, widespread support and excellent research institutions – to continue nurturing projects that will ultimately commercialize cellulosic biofuels, chemicals and other biobased products.
"Our state is a center for research and development related to second- and third-generation renewable technologies," said Debi Durham, director of the IDED. "Iowa is attracting the right companies, innovators and funding that will position us to help solve the energy challenges across the United States and around the world."
A snapshot of Iowa's booming biorenewables industry includes the following:
- Iowa leads in the nation in ethanol production with 41 operating ethanol plants with capacity of nearly 3.7 billion gallons. (Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, 2011)
- Iowa accounts for about 25 percent of total U.S. ethanol production and more than 11 percent of U.S. biodiesel production. (Renewable Fuels Association, 2009)
- Fiberight, a leading edge clean technology company, recently started production on the nation's first commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in Blairstown, Iowa. The facility is expected to reach full capacity by late 2011 and will produce approximately 2.8 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol a year.
- POET will add 25 million gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol using corn cobs as a feedstock to an existing grain-to-ethanol plant that is expected to begin production in 2012.
- BioProcess Algae is currently producing algae in Shenandoah, Iowa to be used for advanced biofuel production, high-quality animal feed, pharmaceuticals, and/or as biomass for energy production
- Mirel™ Bioplastics are being commercially produced in Clinton, Iowa by Metabolix and Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) through a joint venture called Telles.
- Iowa is the nation's leading producer of corn and soybeans, the major feedstock for ethanol and biodiesel. (USDA, 2009)
- IDED offers funding and incentives to companies developing biorenewable products.
Iowa's business climate has never been more favorable and with the lowest cost of doing business in the U.S. (CNBC, 2010), companies operating in the state will benefit from a business-friendly state government that offers flexible assistance for qualifying biorenewable companies. The Iowa Power Fund, established in 2007, has invested more than $59.7 million directly in 40 competitive projects, leveraging $546 million in energy research and development, early stage commercialization and education.
"We are excited about the innovative projects that are brewing in places like Shenandoah, Blairstown, and Emmetsburg; a lot of these projects have the potential to help solve the energy problems we face today and the ones we will face tomorrow," concluded Durham.
In addition to serving as a sponsor for BIO World Congress 2011, IDED will have representatives presenting at the conference.
For more information, visit the State of Iowa booth #215 at Bio World Congress 2011. Additional Iowa news and timely updates can be found by visiting www.iowalifechanging.com , following on Twitter (@BusinessIOWA) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/iowaeconomicdevelopment).
SOURCE Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED)